School Energy Supplier

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star® program estimates that the average American school is approximately 75,000 square feet and operates roughly two computers for every thousand square feet of educational space. Of course, these numbers vary widely when going from elementary schools to high schools and college campuses. But one thing remains constant across all educational facilities: the need to find trustworthy school energy providers.

At Shipley Energy, we’ve been a primary school, middle school, high school, and college energy supplier for decades. We’ve been in the fuel supply business for more than 90 years, in fact. In that time, we’ve worked consistently to earn a reputation for being a trusted school energy supplier.

From our mobile fleet fueling services that handle all types of school bus fueling to the heating oil needs of school buildings, we supply the fuel and energy that practically every step in the educational process requires. And since we do it with incredible service and value to our customers, we have longstanding relationships with many educational institutions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

School Energy Supplied With Expert Energy Awareness

When you’ve been in the fuel supply business as long as we have, you know that sharing energy efficiency tips is more than a public service. In reality, schools that establish an energy efficiency program typically report using 20 percent less energy than schools without such programs. This results in substantial savings. Moreover, it’s another important educational point for students to be aware of as future responsible energy consumers.

In addition to sharing our expertise in energy efficiency, we supply schools and other education-related facilities with the following energy sources:

  • Electricity: Thanks to privatization, we are able to offer electricity at highly competitive prices. Plus, our energy advisors can evaluate your school’s power use and calculate a pricing structure to match your needs.
  • Propane: Our efficiency means savings for your school. That’s why we offer paperless transactions, e-billing capabilities, and dependable service. At the center of this efficiency is our propane delivery service, which supplies premium fuel at reasonable prices.
  • Autogas: Many schools in the region are converting their fleets to run on autogas. In many instances, it is cheaper, better for the environment, and safer than traditional fuels. If you're looking for a new supplier or just looking to learn more, we can help.
  • Natural gas: We offer competitive pricing and payment choices. You select the payment structure that fits the needs of your school, from fixed rates to current market rates. If you’re transitioning to gas from another fuel source, we can help you through that as well.
  • Heating oil/bioheat: Whether it’s traditional heating oil or the revolutionary new bioheat — made from fossil fuel mixed with biodiesel derived from recycled restaurant oils — we can deliver the type of heating oil you want.

Shipley Energy: The Responsible School Energy Supplier

Shipley Energy can cost-effectively supply all of your school’s fuel needs. In addition, we can answer your questions regarding clean energy and solar power. Contact us today to speak with one of our expert energy advisors.

ENERGY 101

How to Manage Electricity Costs in Schools and College Campuses

How to Manage Electricity Costs in Schools and College Campuses

With funding at a premium and budgets in the balance, managing electricity costs in schools should be a top priority in any district. There are several ways to save electricity at school, and administrators, teachers, and students should understand the methods involved. Only when school staff and student bodies work as teams can bills be reduced and energy saved on an ongoing basis. This article discusses how to lower school electricity costs with a variety of energy-saving tips and strategies.

  1. The Top Uses of Energy in Schools
  2. Quick Ways to Lower School Electricity Costs
  3. Long Term Electricity Cost-Control Solutions
  4. Develop an Energy Efficiency and Electricity Procurement Plan for Your School
  5. School Electricity Services From Shipley Energy

The Top Uses of Energy in Schools

A school can save significant sums of money and maximize its budget by employing some basic energy-saving measures. To determine how to save electricity at school, you must pinpoint the leading factors that cause excess energy consumption on campuses. The following two factors primarily drive electricity rates for schools:

  • Lights: The number of fluorescent lights and incandescent bulbs used to light up classrooms, cafeterias, and gymnasiums account for roughly 20% of energy costs in a typical school. This portion of a school’s energy usage is strictly electricity based.
  • Computers: Over the last two decades, computers have become a fact of life at most schools and universities, where computer rooms are liable to be filled at any given time by anywhere from 25 to 150 students, depending on the number of computers available. While this can be quite taxing on a school’s energy bills, the real waste occurs when the monitors and peripheral devices are left with their power on overnight.

In terms of overall energy consumption, the single biggest drain for the majority of schools is space heating, which accounts for nearly half of energy costs. Schools generally rely on fossil fuels for heating purposes. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the costs associated with heating, as well as the costs attributed to electricity consumption.

Top Energy Uses in Schools

Quick Ways to Lower School Electricity Costs

The goal to reduce electricity use in schools can be accomplished quickly with a set of simple, everyday measures. It all starts by changing some basic habits that lead to overconsumption. For example, when lights and machines are left on all day, despite only being used at select times, it can be a wasteful practice. The same holds true with the heating and cooling system, which could easily be overdrawn if not used wisely. If students and staff all do their part to reverse these wasteful habits, the savings could add up over time.

1. Turn off Computers and Lights

Some of the most taxing uses of electricity at schools can be attributed to lighting fixtures and computers, both of which consume massive amounts of kilowatts per year. Computers can be especially draining on a school’s electrical bills, particularly when machines are left to idle overnight and on weekends. The average computer — monitor, tower, keyboard, and attachments — consumes approximately 200 watts. Most wasteful of all is the monitor, which uses half that wattage.

To curb this costly and wasteful consumption of electricity, schools should shut off computers during days and hours when campuses are closed. For even more energy savings, connect all computer devices to smart power strips, which are programmed with sensors to detect when students are nowhere nearby. This will automatically place all attached devices into an energy-save mode when computers are not in use.

Lights can also be responsible for untold sums of electrical consumption, especially if they are left on idly in empty rooms. To prevent this wasteful use of energy, make sure that all lights are turned off each time a room clears. To get into the habit of turning off lights, leave signs by the door in bright letters that say something like, “Turn off lights before clearing the room.” You can also install motion sensors that turn off lights after set periods and on when motion is detected.

2. Turn Down HVAC Systems in Unused Spaces

Another major drain on the energy budget of any school is the HVAC system, which sends heat and sometimes air conditioning into some rather large spaces, such as gymnasiums and cafeterias. To cut down on this wasteful energy usage, ensure that your school’s HVAC system settings are programmed for reduced flow in these parts of the building during hours and days when the gym and eating quarters are unoccupied.

Turn Down HVAC Use

Water heaters can also cause unintended spikes in energy consumption, especially if the settings are left at the same levels constantly. Make sure that the water heaters in your school are set to reduced levels on weekends and during breaks when the campus is empty for extended periods.

3. Take Advantage of Natural Sunlight

Wherever possible, arrange classrooms to take advantage of natural lighting angles. The more that students can get sunlight through the windows and even skylights, the less light-dependant the school will be. In contrast to fluorescent lighting panels, the sun is a healthy source of light that can help students stay focused on curriculum and studies.

4. Hold Classes Outside

On days when the weather is hospitable, arrange to hold classes outside on the grass. Each hour of class held outside is one hour less spent on lighting the room for the class in question. This can be especially effective at older schools with more primitive HVAC systems, as these buildings typically get hotter inside on warmer days.

5. Keep Doors Closed Between Different Areas

On days when the indoor temperature must be adjusted with the heating and cooling system, make sure that the energy is concentrated to active areas. The most effective way to ensure this is to keep all the doors within the building closed at all times, including the doors to the library, gym, cafeteria, and each of the classrooms.

If the hallways are only occupied for five minutes each hour, there is no reason for all of that HVAC energy to spread through the halls throughout each day. Likewise, the gym area does not need to be heated or cooled during the hours when the gym is empty.

6. Assign Tasks to Students

The best way to maintain an energy-efficient school is to have a student body that proactively supports the goal. Students can do their part by turning off lights and equipment when leaving an otherwise empty room. To incentivize these tasks, develop a program in which students can earn extra credit by checking rooms for idle lights and unused running equipment. In the computer rooms, assign qualified students to the task of turning off monitors and other devices.

By instilling youth with an environmental conscience, you could help nurture lifetime conservationist habits in the next generation.

Long Term Electricity Cost-Control Solutions

Some electricity saving tips for schools are designed with larger long-term goals in mind. For example, the average electric bill for a school could see a one-fifth reduction if engineers are recurrently brought on campus to do efficiency evaluations and pinpoint sources of energy consumption. Changes in lighting and classroom equipment can also help schools lower their electrical bills.

1. Commissioning

One of the most effective ways to reduce electricity costs each year is to hire engineers to perform commissioning work, where they come to the campus periodically to perform energy-efficiency audits. The engineers will inspect energy levels and observe HVAC and light usage in each room and corridor. If electricity is being consumed at high levels in unoccupied areas, this will be noted in the report.

Commissioning can help schools save as much as 15% on annual energy costs. For a school consisting of 100,000 square feet, that savings could amount to $14,000 per year.

Commissioning

2. Switch to LEDs or CFLs

Another change that can drastically reduce electricity consumption is to switch out incandescent lights for more efficient options. Though homeowners have largely made the switch, many schools have yet to switch over to LED (light-emitting diode) lights. Considering the number of hours that lights run nonstop in many rooms throughout the typical school, this one change could lead to huge monthly savings on your school’s energy bills.

LEDs are also relatively temperature-free, whereas incandescent bulbs are often sources of heat. During the hotter days of the year, a school could be forced to lean heavily on its cooling system to offset the heat from incandescent lights. By switching to LEDs, your school could save on lighting and HVAC costs. LEDs also last longer, allowing your school to reduce its frequency of costly new lighting purchases.

In rooms equipped with fluorescent lighting fixtures, change them out with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which work in most preexisting light sockets. CFLs last longer and consume less energy, making it possible for your school to save in two ways.

3. Change Televisions to Flat and LCD Screens

If your school has not done an overhaul of its viewing equipment in many years, chances are your teachers are still using large television sets to show movies and educational programs to classes. As with old CRT computer monitors, large televisions consume high amounts of energy. By contrast, today’s flat-screen monitors occupy less space and help conserve energy. Compared to a CRT screen, an LCD screen uses only half as much power, sometimes less. Alternately, LED screens can offer even more energy savings.

4. Consider Alternate Cooling Options

Industrial air conditioners can be quite costly for schools, given all the rooms and corridors on a typical campus. To condition the indoor air for hundreds of students at a time, each classroom should have a more efficient set of options, such as ceiling fans and moveable windows. If the windows in any of the classrooms are stuck shut, have them fixed so they can be cracked open on warmer days. Install ceiling fans to circulate the air on days when temperatures rise into the 70°F to 80°F range. Use of the air conditioner should be limited to the rare days when school-time temperatures exceed 80°F.

5. Explore Demand Response

An interesting option for schools is to consider exploring entering into a demand response agreement. As the name suggests, entities participate by agreeing to curtail demand during periods of peak demand (typically in Summer months, when your buildings are empty). Your school can receive a check year-round for simply agreeing to participate in the program. Shipley Energy can work with you to determine if this a good fit for your school.

6. Choose a Different Electricity Provider

In recent years, schools and office buildings have gained newfound options when it comes to electricity. This has all been due to recently implemented deregulatory policies in the electricity sector, which has opened up the market to new suppliers and increased competition. While electricity has long been a public utility, its recent privatization has given rise to suppliers that are better attuned to the unique needs of specific institutions, including schools and college campuses.

To the newer, more competitive electricity suppliers, schools are among the most desired customers because of the high volumes of energy consumed on most campuses. Therefore, many of today’s suppliers are willing to negotiate terms that are favorable to schools seeking to trim overhead costs. The reason for this is simple — electricity suppliers want schools as customers, and they want to hold onto them over the long run. If your school initiated relations with its current utility long before the advent of deregulation, now would be the time to reconsider the terms of that relationship and explore the option of a newer supplier.

Choose a Different Electricity Provider

Develop an Energy Efficiency and Electricity Procurement Plan for Your School

Energy efficiency cannot simply be achieved in three easy steps, as it takes an ongoing plan to sustain the savings long-term. To develop a lasting plan, you will first need to gauge the current levels of energy consumption at your school and select an ideal reduction level.

A common mistake at schools is to simply adjust temperature levels to whatever might feel comfortable on a given day, meaning cranked up heating levels on cold days and intense air conditioning on humid days. The more efficient plan is to pick an ideal temperature for all days and times when the rooms in question are occupied and adjust the HVAC system accordingly.

If your school was built long ago, energy efficiency should be incorporated into the next set of renovations. The next time your school undergoes renovation work, incorporate daylighting into the plan. In addition to the increased flow of natural light, studies have shown that daylighting helps students improve anywhere from 15% to 26% on their test scores.

School Electricity Services From Shipley Energy

The more money that each school can save on its electrical costs, the better it will be for students and staff alike. With so many other areas in need of funds, energy efficiency should be a top priority for all schools and universities. For schools in Pennsylvania, Shipley Energy has long been a provider of reliable electricity services. Regardless of the size of the school or campus, we provide energy that keeps classrooms running during all hours of operation. Contact Shipley Energy for more information about our commercial and school electricity services.

School Electricity Services